“Fast bowling is about imposing yourself on batsman with your belief,” said Waqar Younis in one of his recent interviews. He rated Ishant Sharma quite highly but said, “When he first came on the scene, I thought: here is a good bowler with an open-chest action, hall and hits the deck and gets the bounce. Then he started making changes in his action, going wider, started losing pace and rhythm.” Waqar also feels Dale Steyn is currently the best fast bowler for all conditions.
This IPL gave Waqar the opportunity to work with both the bowlers, whom he admires and help them improve further. When we see Sunrisers Hyderabad team on the paper, it doesn’t really measure up to the talent Delhi Daredevils have, but their thumping win over Delhi on Saturday once again highlighted the fact that cricket isn’t played on paper. Hyderabad’s leadership has revolved around Kumar Sangakkara and Cameron White, and honestly it hasn’t been very strong. Utility cricketers form their major batting and they haven’t really made an impact as a result we have seen them collapse quite often. There have been odd good knocks from the likes of Hanuma Vihari and Ashish Reddy but they need to learn to value their wicket. With Sangakkara looks off-color, much of the batting depends on Sikhar Dhawan who has looked good but they need to be more than one-man army. Waqar has to be given a lot of credit for the rise of this new Hyderbadi outfit because it’s bowling which has made them go so far in the tournament. They are still unbeaten at home and their bowling has just improved every game. With Steyn around, the bowling is in safe hands but what has been impressive is the resurgence of Ishant who is bowling at a difficult length and mixing it up well. Even the all-rounders Darren Sammy and Thissara Perrera have bowled good lengths with discipline while the leggies Amit Mishra and Karan Sharma have been wonderful. With another win, the Sunrisers look good to qualify, but with other quality teams having peaked up, they may still lose out marginally. Whatever it is, they will be proud to achieve what they have. No one gave them the chance to come this far, once again thanks to their bowling think tank led by the charismatic former Pakistani speedster Waqar Younis. Disappointing would be an understatement to sum up the way Delhi played on Saturday. This has been the story of their campaign but in earlier games, one of the batsmen be it David Warner or a Kedar Jadhav or any one else, have put their hand up and taken the total to 130’s or 140’s, which wasn’t still enough for their bowlers but they were still up for a contest. But Saturday was a reality check. Kolkata will be ruing their defeat against the depleted Delhi earlier this week. Heading to the Sunday clashes: The spirited Chennai Super Kings who are on a winning streak will look to avenge their defeat against Mumbai Indians, while the latter is playing at home, a ground where they win more often. In the other game, Rajasthan Royals who have been dominant at home will look to down the already worn out Pune Warriors India to strengthen their chances to qualify for the play-offs.
Brief Scores SRH 81 for 4 in 13.5 overs [S Dhawan 22 (16), D Sammy 18 (20) *, J Botha 3-0-11-2] beat DD 80 in 19.1 overs [D Steyn 4-0-21-2, Ishant Sharma 3-1-11-1, T Perrera 3.1-0-11-2, D Sammy 3-0-10-2, A Mishra 4-0-16-1] by six wickets